Standing in awe

As you know, I am incredibly grateful for all your prayers, healing thoughts and positive vibrations. I know that I tell you every time that I write, and you should know that I will continue to tell you.

Your prayers and intentions for my healing have an impact that leaves me awed.

My recent mammogram is officially normal. Yes!

In recent weeks, I developed this funky skin tag on my right eyelid. It felt annoying and uncomfortable, not to mention, unattractive, though feeling attractive should be the least of my worries.

A few weeks later, I showed the growth on my eyelid to my husband, an amazing doctor who can offer an ointment, treatment or a diagnosis for just about anything. He simply said, “Yep” in a tone that means, I see it and there really isn’t anything to be done.

So, I shifted to feel grateful for this little blip, tacked my prayers onto your healing prayers and, I kid you not, it was gone by the next morning. Gone.

In other health news, the bleeding returned. Even though I reached some high of gratitude with it in the past, reaching that high all over again looked like another mountain to climb.

In the meantime, I went rowing. The day was sunny and warm but slightly windy and I took out a skinnier boat than usual. After a slow start, I felt like I was doing pretty well and finding my rhythm. Then I began to get a bit full of myself and….I caught a crab.

Catching a crab is when your oar gets stuck in the water. In my case, it was because I feathered (turned) the blade before pulling it out of the water. It was probably also because I was stroking my ego instead of focusing on my stroke.

Rowing on the Charles, June 2013

Looking almost Ivy League!

Just then, the handle of the oar stuck into my abdomen, pulling me backwards in the boat and holding me there, while my other oar flailed uselessly in midair. The boat tipped and I had a long minute of panic before I regained my center and my humility.

Enter Kathy of

Kathy wrote some incredibly nice things about my approach to gratitude. Her writing left me feeling giddy, generally wonderful, and like we should all say nice things about each other on a regular basis.

Inspired by her post, I revisited the bleeding and again aimed to reach that high point of gratitude. In the midst, I suddenly remembered that all this gratitude started with one small step. In my really rough times, a friend challenged me to be grateful for at least three things when I woke every morning. She encouraged me to say those gratitudes out loud. And later, she challenged me to take five full minutes to list what I am grateful for.

In my first tries, those were a long five minutes. But I stuck with it.

Over time and without my realizing it, being grateful throughout the day became as automatic as breathing and came from the same depths of my soul as love. Like love, though, it isn’t always easy to maintain, but small steps can still move us.

Because I once reached an amazing space of gratitude, I believe that it is indeed possible to experience that. Because the growth on my eyelid went away, I believe it is indeed possible that the growths in my body can go away as well (and they may have already left). And because I do sometimes have a rowing stroke that feels amazing, I believe it is possible to have a few of those in a row.

Thank you for believing in all this with me. Your prayers and the energy of your belief in these possibilities help to make them all a reality, and I stand in awe.

Much love,

Living on a prayer

These days, I am living on a prayer. More accurately, living on YOUR prayers. Thank you. This is way more fun than living on chemo. I am incredibly aware of each lovely chemo-free day and insanely grateful for the prayers, positive thoughts, presence and other gifts of your heart that enable me to have this life.

These provide an uplifting strength, enabling me to attend the boys’ May Day celebration at school, participate in my yoga class, attend a reunion, meet a friend for coffee, and throw (and enjoy) an early birthday party for one of the boys and his friends.  I even got to go rowing – woo hoo! – and rowed further than I ever have. (For those of you who are familiar, I rowed from the Cambridge Boat Club to the basin.)

I also decided that I had enough strength as well as enough distance from medical appointments to stomach a mammogram. In the face of actual cancer treatments, my regular mammograms fell out of the picture. Lately, I’ve had this panicky feeling that I need one, but every day this week, postponed making the call.

Finally, on Friday, after dropping the boys at school, I looked at the phone and thought, I’ll call in a bit. Just then, the phone rang and it was….The American Cancer Society. Seriously? Okay, message received and mammogram quickly scheduled.

On Saturday morning, I started bleeding and feeling ill, sending me into a bit of a tailspin.  To reign in my anxiety, I attempted to reframe the situation.

I tried telling myself that it wasn’t really happening. I tried telling myself that it would stop. I tried telling myself that it wasn’t a big deal.  I tried telling myself that it doesn’t mean anything.

As each approach failed, I kept thinking of that Bible verse, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” So I gave thanks for the good-feeling stuff in my life. Still didn’t help. Then I gave thanks for this. At first, that was a stretch, but I surprisingly did get there. Talk about practicing gratitude.

I could give thanks and be grateful but still wasn’t entirely thrilled about the bleeding. On Sunday, while listening to the song, “Let It Be” by the Beatles, I studied the logo on my iPhone, trying to figure out which face was which Beatle. Awhile later, while speaking with a friend, I noticed that same logo on his t-shirt, along with the words Let It Be.

I LOVE serendipities. They feel like personal messages from my guardian angels. I could sink into the Beatles. I could trust Mother Mary. And I could just let it be.

I hope you are finding lovely serendipities in your life. I know there are lots of us who need help and support in so many ways. Thank you for your continued prayers and your help in my life. Know that it makes a tangible, positive difference.

I thank God always for you.

Ephesians 1:15-19

Love and prayers,